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So often, I had heard coaches telling their bowlers that their timing is either early, late or on time. So, what is Timing and is it relevant and important in our sport of bowling? When timing is “off”, what would happen? Could we do some changes to fix the timing?

Timing is best described as two mechanical gears synchronising with one another in a fluid motion. In relation, our bowling timing requires our swing and footwork to be synchronised fluidly to produce a 'time' to facilitate our complicated releases. Timing and rhythm tend to be the main indicator of a good approach in the delivery. If the timing is good, everything flows from there.

Timing can be referred to the location of the ball during the ball placement and at the foul line prior to the release. It is an important as the timing would likely dictate on whether you have a good or bad release.

Timing in bowling differs from individual to individual, a bowler can be early or late in the ball placement but end with a good leverage at the foul line. As coach, I would be looking at 3 positions to verify the timing. These 3 positions would help me to identify issues to be fixed.
Theoretically, when you place the ball early, you would end up as early timing. Conversely, a late placement leads to a late timing. If the ball is released fractionally early or fractionally late the course that it takes becomes unpredictable.

Similarly, when your feet are fast, you get to the line a little early, and your ball is slightly lagging behind (late timing) in your swing. This causes you to pull the ball at the foul line, and the ball misses to the left of your intended target (for right-handed bowlers ) and relatively the ball speed is lost. The exact opposite happens when your feet are a little slow , the ball is released late (early timing), thus causing shots to go to the right of your target and the resulted in the lost of balance and rev rate.

Timing needs to be synchronised with the swing and footwork; it is also called rhythm. Earlier, I have mentioned that there are three positions that I would observe for timing drill. First is the initial ball placement, then the position of the ball in the swing arc when the sliding foot is fully on the approach and lastly whether sliding foot stops.

What do look for in the Timing Drill.
Let us starts with the ball placement, there are many ways the bowling ball is placed into the swing: Push away, hinged or circular motion. In my coaching, I worked with the bowler on the circular motion placement. The placement (circular motion) can assist in making adjustment to the shape and gets the ball to the correct spot (circle A) at the correct timing.

This circle movement can generate extra momentum to the swing which greatly help in producing potential energy. The second position (circle B) is when the starting of sliding step is flat on the approach and the bowling arm is parallel to the ground. This is a good indicator whether the bowler is late or early in the delivery. And the final position (circle C) is considered a delay position for the bowler to have a flat spot to complete the comprehensive release or foul line correction.

If you have any question on the timing drill, please email me at anglandseah@gmail.com